Why The Gators Should Bench John Brantley for Trey Burton
The quarterback position wasn't supposed to be a problem for the Florida Gators.
Granted, losing Tim Tebow left a huge void in both the offensive and leadership departments, but with John Brantley at the helm, Florida would still score points.
The wide receivers were ready to become more involved on offense, so much so that Deonte Thompson called Brantley "a real quarterback."
However, nothing has played out like it was supposed to for the Gators offensively.
In the SEC, Florida currently ranks ninth in scoring offense (27.6 points per game), ninth in total offense (329 yards per game) and eighth in passing offense (186.9 yards per game).
Some will blame that on offensive coordinator Steve Addazio for his ill-conceived and predictable play-calling and others will blame head coach Urban Meyer for allowing this mediocrity to carry on.
But the real problem lies with Brantley, who has been less than spectacular this season.
No. 12 is averaging just 6.09 yards per pass attempt and has a 117.9 pass efficiency, which ranks tenth in the SEC and is 46.3 points less than Tebow's career-low mark as a Gator (164.2).
Again, these numbers are not entirely Brantley's fault and can be attributed to poor play by Florida's receivers and Addazio's offensive game plans.
Yet, continuing to try to run this version of the offense with Brantley at quarterback is a bad move and I say that with a heavy heart because Meyer has made his offense work with similar quarterback before.
When Chris Leak was starting for Florida, Meyer made the necessary adjustments to ensure that the game plan would suit the strengths of Leak's game.
However, as the repeated options and bubble screens show, Addazio and Meyer are either unable or unwilling to make changes to the offense.
So, if Florida wants to continue to run the "Tebow offense," then seniority be damned.
Bench Brantley and start Trey Burton at quarterback.
If the coaching staff wants a quarterback that can run the ball and deliver punishment, as well as pose a threat in the passing game, then Burton is the best way to go.
There is nothing to be gained by trying to jam the square peg that is Brantley into the round hole known as the Florida offense when you have a perfectly good round peg in Burton waiting in the wings.
Additionally, after three consecutive losses and the current state of the offense, the Gators can't do much worse at quarterback.
Burton can run the option effectively, he poses a legitimate threat to scramble, and he has a good throwing arm to get the ball down the field.
He may only be a true freshman, but the best way to get him experience is to throw him into the fire and hope for the best.
And it will work out. Just ask Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden, and the 2007 Florida defense.
Admittedly, if the coaching staff begins to play to Brantley's strengths and adopts a more pass-happy strategy, then the Gators can score a lot of points.
However, with the way Addazio runs the offense, Burton is the best way to go.